Ghosting: The Psychological Bird Flip

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Photo by Elias Tucker

You meet someone and sparks fly.  You talk every day and do things together.  You two are building the foundation of a relationship or friendship; whatever the type of ship it may be, all of a sudden, this ship has sunk because this person checked out and stopped all forms of communication with you unexpectedly.

Maybe he or she enlisted in the Witness Protection Program or maybe aliens abducted him or her.  As absurd as these theories may sound, they may be plausible because you two were having a great a time up until this point.  At least you thought he or she was having as good a time as you.  In the words of the great and late philosopher Whitney Houston, “how will I know”?

In today’s world, no answer is an answer.  For those of you who do not know what ghosting is, it is the act of abruptly ceasing communication of any kind without warning or explanation with someone you were cultivating a relationship with or had a relationship with.  It is easy to hide behind the blanket excuse of “I’ve been so busy,”  but even the Leader of the Free World has time to make multiple posts that 150 characters are less in a day!   So what gives?  Ghosting has become the most common and convenient way to bail on a relationship.

It’s not you, it’s me….

Are people not even worth a cliché anymore?   Giving someone the Casper treatment is rather disrespectful.  Here is why.  Disappearing without an explanation breeds a lot of confusion, speculation and worry.  It brings about far more intense feelings than the feeling of rejection that comes from being up front with someone and saying, “You are a great person and I enjoy the time we spent together; I don’t want to pursue a relationship with you.”   Yes, of course, you run the risk of having a conversation that might be uncomfortable but it is the last conversation you will have with this person on this topic.  It actually beats “ghosting” him or her only to randomly bump into him or her without any place to take cover thus being forced to have an even more awkward and potentially embarrassing conversation– in public, no less!

Ghosting to spare someone’s feeling is a piping hot pile of steaming dung.

Anyone who ghosts someone else is cowardly sparing himself or herself the daunting task of having to admit they are not into this friendship/relationship and having a conversation about why.  It is okay to want out of a relationship for no other reason than you do not want to be in one with that person.  Sometimes that happens.  Not everyone we come across is a crazy creep.  Sometimes sparks fly and fizzle out for no particular reason.  Just because someone is amazing and he or she has the right qualities does not mean he or she is right for you.

If you should find yourself in the situation where you want to call it quits, choose to treat this person with kindness and respect them enough to have that conversation with them.  Be brave.  Don’t be a cruel ghoul and ghost.

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